Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayers for Marcus Walker

Oh Marcus,
You were the best of men, truly the finest human beings can be. I wish I could send you prayers. I wish I could have sent you prayers while you struggled with cancer. I wish I could have sent you prayers at any time that I knew you.

Couldn't though. Just can't.

I hate it when people I love and respect want to pray for me, or expect me to offer my prayers. Always have hated it.

It's always dicey discussing religion. When I was 13, I felt my life sucked. I had decided to be Jewish, not that I told anyone, (I think I told Marcus- not then, I didn't know him, I mean I told him the story, sheesh). Shortly before I summoned up the courage to commit suicide, I stumbled into circumstances that led me to believe in the whole Christian fundamentalist schtick, forgiveness, to live is Christ, to die is gain, blah, blah, blah. By the time I was in high school, I had become an irritant to people like my best friend Jeff, future atheists. He used to quote the book of Jeremiah when I came near, "Mountains, fall on me." He was quite the raconteur.

Anyway, my reading of the Bible differed from other fundamentalists and most other Christians. The book of Matthew includes the Sermon on the Mount wherein Jesus tells the multitudes exactly how to pray. He dictates what we call the Lord's Prayer. Read it. It's here: (I was going to wait for you to go get a Bible or Google it, but I'm impatient, so I Googled it for you and pasted it here.)

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'"

There is nothing in that passage to indicate that God is a vending machine or a genie in a bottle. Daily bread, forgiveness, not sinning.

No protection from accidents.

No winning football games.

No success on tests.

No special help for a contest or achievement.

No relief from pain.

No cure for cancer.

I'm so sorry, Marcus.

I never prayed for you.

I'm not going to pray for you now.

If there's a Heaven, if there's any truth in Christian lore:

you're with God and happy.

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